New Unger book: Theory of Type Design

Dave CrosslandDave Crossland Posts: 1,355
edited March 2018 in Technique and Theory
I am very excited!

Pre-order here,

If you don't know him, he is one of the top type designers of the last decades, and that page links to some nice recent interviews:

And if course his homepage,

His book "While you're reading" is also fantastic :)


  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,457
  • AbrahamLeeAbrahamLee Posts: 262
    @Chris Lozos, have you received your copy yet? I haven’t received mine nor any word that it shipped.
  • The release date is in September ;)
  • AbrahamLeeAbrahamLee Posts: 262
    Oh, I see. I knew it was in pre-production stages, but I didn’t realize it was that far out. Good to know! I’m excited to get my copy.
  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,457
    @AbrahamLee It has not shipped yet as Moritz noted.

  • Got mine in the mail today! Super excited to read it. Very nicely bound hard cover.
  • Mine showed up yesterday. I’ll start reading it as soon as I finish this 950 page gangster epic I’ve been chipping away at.
  • My copies showed up in the mail this past week... just a couple of days after I bought a signed copy at ATypI.
  • mine also came yesterday.

  • I just finished reading it this afternoon.  Perhaps I will start a new thread with my reactions and everyone else's
  • Please do!

    I read the first several chapters, but then I had to go to LA and have been busy. Should have brought it with me for airplane reading!

    The bad thing about in-flight wifi is that I do less reading on airplanes now.  :(
  • Perhaps I will start a new thread with my reactions and everyone else's
    Please do! Considering how disappointing "While You're Reading" was, I've been waiting for reviews before I buy it. But I'm hopeful.
  • Anyone wanting to save money, if they are willing to wait, can save about US$10 by placing a pre-order at Amazon for November 20 shipping. Current pre-order price is US$31.36 plus tax and shipping when using Amazon Prime.
  • @Hrant H. Papazian That is a different book.
  • edited September 2018
    Oh man, wires crossed! Sorry.

    Hey why doesn't TypeDrawers let me hit Disagree on myself?!
  • The general point of avoiding amazon may still apply, though.
  • @Jasper de Waard -- What's the story on avoiding Amazon? I obviously haven't heard it.
  • I just finished reading it this afternoon.  Perhaps I will start a new thread with my reactions and everyone else's
    Yes?  :-)
  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,457
    Busy right now, Hrant.  Will get to it later.
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,957
    edited October 2018
    I finished reading it this evening. Theory of Type Design is a great introduction to thinking about typefaces and designing them. Incoming students at the various graduate and certificate programs in type design should be required to read this book before the programs start. It’s on the list of books I wish had been around when I was writing my undergraduate thesis about type design. Unger is short and to the point providing a nice example of how academic writing doesn’t have to be so, well, academic. My next journey with this book will be buying items of the bibliography that I don’t already own.
  • edited October 2018
    @James Puckett How useful would you say it is beyond an introduction?
  • It’s not more than an introduction to anything. Each chapter is a little essay of two or three pages, so there’s not much space to dive in with depth that experienced designers might appreciate. But there is depth in the work overall if you want to understand how a seasoned type designer thinks.
  • Thanks James!
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,870
    James, do you think there actually is a theory in the Theory?
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,957
    edited October 2018
    I think there is a theory to it in the same sense that the books of Doyald Young are a theory of lettering and wordmark design and critique and The Stroke is a theory of letterform classification. Unger explains ways of thinking, not what to think. It's very Dutch and catholic. There's a wonderful theory for the utility of typefaces, that they form a solar system like cluster, with the most crystal gobletty types at the center and everything else radiating outward in orbits of novelty.
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